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tv   Washington Week  PBS  March 21, 2020 1:30am-2:01am PDT

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♪be : a nation on the brink of an economic and health meltdown. pres. trump: it's a medical war. we have to win this war. robert:he trump administration under intense pressure as the coronavirus spreads.it >> i possible that there is aerosol transmissn? it certainly is. robert: the president proses a $1 trillion rescue plan. can congressional leaders cut a deal >> our bill recognizes the bill structural national crisis that requires a big,l struc response. >> there are some people still ployed but there are many, many, many who have lost their to be enough. heck isn't going
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robert: and the states, officials gapple with immense challenges. >>ou can't buy a ventilator right now. globally you can't buy them. robbery next. announcer: thiis "washington week." funding is provided by -- [laughter] ♪ announcer: additional funding provided by the estate of adams and koo and patricia yuen through the yuen foundation. committed to bridging culturalf ences in our communities. broadcasting and b public contributions to your pbs
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station from viewers like you. thank you. once again, fro washington, moderator robert costa.rt ro good evening. the economic and health crisis that has gripped the nation and the world is now moving at warp speed on two fronts. by the closing bell on wall street on friday, the markets wrapped up their worst week since the 2008 financial csis. meanwhile the biggest cities and state governmentsou areing the alarm for -- for criminal medical equipment that is in short supply and golves of california, new york, illins and florida are issuing sweeping rw restrictions. the congressionponse is where we begin tonight. that is where with aion is in washington. with a $1 trillion economic rescue plan under consideration. joining us tonight at this difficult time are four reporters who have worked hard all week at the white house and
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at the capitol and from home, like many of you. like you, they are doi their best to keep reporting and asking the questions m thatt be asked of people in power. nancy cordes, chief congressional correspondent for cbs news, who joins us from clip. jake sherman, senior wre at polite come. correspondent for cnbc and here at the table is yamiche alcindor, white house newshour. ent for the pbs nancy, we beginith you. you're covering the senate negotiations about ts trill-dollar package. where do those talks stand at this hour? nancy: we saw leader schumer and leader mcconnell in the senate a shor time ago and they said that they are making good progress but they don't think thathey are going to make that self-imposed deadline of working out all the details tonight. more likely this will spill over
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into tomorrow. that does still enable them to track to vote on this very massive economic package on monday. the sticking points, schumer said, have to do with this marshal plan for hospitals, as democrats call it, making sure at hospitals around the country have the protective gear he said the two sides are making great progress on that front. th s othercking point, state stabiliz fionds. making sure that states who essentially one -- run out of revenue have a backup. that's a s problem becaue republicans are arguing they should have had a rainy day funn some democrats are arguing they didn't think they needed one. robert: if leader monnell and senator schumer come together on an agreement in the next 24 to 4
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hours, will house democrats move to qui pass that legislation? >> that's the question of the hour, bob. i don't know thenswer to that. nancy pelosi is playi it close to her vest. is shuck schumer acting as a proxy? thes he have nancy pelosi's back? e are some signs this evening that yes, he is. nancy pelosi andchuck schumer have spoken several times to easury secretary steven mnuchin, himself a tomorrow pore -- former democrat who was d active inocratic fundraising circles for many years and somebody who just worked with nancy pelosi on a large-scale package just ae cou weeks ago on the early stages of the coronavirus. buthe bighallenge for house democrats and this is going to sound crazy perhaps but they literally cannot bring the house of representatives back to washington in a meaningful way. two members of the house have
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tested positive for the coronaviru anotherozen oro that we know of and we don't know of everybody but another dozen or so members that we know of have been sequestered, havequ antined themselves over concerns they might have it. so it's unclea mcically how they'll pass in bill. they could do it by unanimous consent but this is a $1 trillion package. i do an tiss paymentometimes monday, tuesday, wednesday this bill will pass. in will be bumps on the road but i dontipate the insent active is there fm everybody. robert: jake, is there any talk of remote voting from the house of repsentatives? jake: yeah, something nancy pelosi as --as avoided far long time. she didn't rule itn out a
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phone tall and her leadership didn't. i think it's possible but the l are aot of perils mechanically. the technolog a is not in we just saw the iowa democratic party have a tough i time its caucus with remote voting. house.: you cover the white ly 've been working clo with the secretary steve mnuchin to try to hebble tog a package. what would it mean for the economy if congress can't together in the coming days? >> aisoluteter, bob. we're already looking at an absolute economic national tragedy. the jobs report next time around is going to show job lost losses in the millions. we were 10,000 points on the dow belowhere we were at the highs and this is just getting started. the question tha i look at, if you look at a trillion-dollar bill. this is a $24 trillion economy.
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you're turning a number of economies down to zero. airlines,, restaurannything that involves a large gathering of people, hotel all of it going down to zero, you walk around towns anywhere in thiun y right now and you're going to see almost zero economicy. activ that is an etchically bad problem for all of those industriesne simulsly. we've never seen anything like this in economic history. a $1 trillion bill won't come close to dover -- covering the damage we're going to see. of those s to all americans who are losing their grbs right now? i don't think cs fully understands the scale of the economic wipeout rht now. pres. trump: meanwhile, present trump is staying a bit away from those gary,s.t e's still front and center in this entire national debate. and yamiche has been working hard from the white house asking
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the president and top officials about the federal response, with the focus on the lack of tests. at times, the president has clashed with reporters. here is her exchange with the president from early friday. yamiche: w whenl every american who needs a test get a test? why not have memory equipment being shipped right now?p: pres. we're hearing very positive things about testing. weon't want eve american to go out and get a test. whoche: there are americans think they have symptoms and they can't get tests. pres. trump: but w don't want everybody to go out and get a test. robert: watch you learned inside yamiche: first the president is saying he hasn't heard of the issue that people who havemp ms in this country can't get tests. that's simplyrong. everyone on cla khalil and across the nation is -- on
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capital hill and acr nation is talking about testing. anthony foury said specificically today --auci said today, people w are sick can't get the tests.nt the presis baking away from accountability. the presidenttands at the podium every day and about himself as a wartime king president, you can tell he's ger to spread this issue. today he was talking about thet fact t there was a malaria drug that's been approved. dr. fauci had to step in and say th's not true. add the that, the negotiations on capitol hill, thent presi is pushing g.o.p. republicans, more cash to americans right t now. the bill has one check int for $1,200 per americanut the
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president wants way more checks to go out. robert: dhat about tense production act, whiched peppep -- help the president? yamiche: the president said invoke that act unless there was a worst-casecenario. today he said, actually, i did invokehat act yesterday and that i a directing companies to start mass producing medical uipment that is badly needed because hospitals say they're in dirpe shortages of things like masks gowns. but in that same press conference, the president backtracked and said well, i haven't actuallyulled the trigger. so we don't know whetheit's invoked that act. robert: there's been questions kbout kushner and other being a group in the t force. when you're talking to lawmakers onapol hill, how do they see
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the chain ofomnd and any possible intelligences there? >>a jred kushner is curious choice. not only because he's not b confirme he has not a day of experience in widesprd, large-scale disaster management, pandemics, global health cry sells.ld that we like putting your gardner in charge oferral su and there is a lot of respect for anthony fauci, who i think everyone i've spoken who to have on capitol hill is very comforted by him. he's no-no sense and understands thessues at hand. and let's give credit where it's due. the governors, cuomo and good afternoon nuwsom have been largely happy with the response from the trump administration ot at lhey've said that. cuomo of new york said the other day that everythinge's asked
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for, he's gotten. that's a positive sign but listen, there are tou days ahead, as eamon said. the administration just sent up in money f just the government itself and there are going to be severalio tri more of bills that need to get passed here and the president is in for a very long spring and summer. so me perso olly reportingn congress, i've not heard of any rerting of geraldushner. i don't think he's taking the role on capitol hill that he's taken in previous debates and i think that's a very good thing for the process on clip. robert: eamon, jake just said the veverage package could be $2 trillion porbletely, even more. is there concern inside the republican party that they're becoming a baiut party, a spending party, a party that gives directs payme americans or has that all
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changed, that whole tea party movement to now? >> i think it has changed. you hear lindsay graham with skepticism about the idea of sending checks to americans but more republicans privaly, who two weeks ago would have been are saying we have to spend n whatever it takes in order to get america back on its feet.bu what is the political damage of from economic carnage?le peeed to think i this through. this is much bigger than the 2008 financial crisis i terms of its scale and sharpness. the 2008 financial crisis produce it would tea party, that anger on the rig, occupied wall street, the anger on the left. we have a generation of millennials who is skement cam of the ability of the capitalist system generally to succe a. we hav president of the united states that campaigned on rigged against you. stem i think all of these things are
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litical legacies of the economic wipeout in 2008 andhe perceived unfairness in the way that was handled. iss going to be much bigger than that and as washington and america, we need to think through the fairness of the collusion solutions being proposed toake sure they're what most americans think of as just and right. if we don't ghis right, the political damage for decades is going to beigger than what we saw in 2008 and 2009 and that hasd shar politics. robert: let's staypoith that t for a moment. what is just and right? perceive what's hning in washington? as first reported, senator richard burr, a republican from north carolina and a member of the senate intelligence committee sold hundreds of thousands of tock in- stock in mid february davis days after
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writing that the united states wasetter prepared thanver before to confront the crisis.an difine stinal, democrat of california, kelly loeffler, republican georgia and jim inhofe, republican of oklahoma also sold stock beforehand. on friday burp asked the senate ethics committeeo review his sales. nancy, you'reat ihe come lican senators. who is the response to the newr reabout senator bur. is he being asked to resign or is it business as usual? >> the rponse in the public was vicious but here most of them said they didn't know all the details or didt want to judge what burr and some of their colleagues had done. i think this is a very tricky
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situation because yes, br did sell off somewhere between 600 and 1.7 million dollars' wortht of the wee before the stock market started to tan and there was a suggestion that perhaps because he was receiving coronavirufings, he had some kind of inside information about what was going to the reality is that the reason he was getting coronavus briefings at that point was because of the nulls that everybody was seeing out of asia was so dire at that point that snampts were demanding these briefings so that wasn't exactly a secreand burr sai today the reason he sold his wtock because he was watching cnbc and what was happening with the asian markets. nevertheless, the optics are terrible and some critics wil say even if he wasn't acting on inside information, he shouldn't have done it. th c istainly a controversy senators about it, they were ed
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much more focused on getting this huge trillion-dollar package out the doorhey - than second guessing what one of a month natural ago.ht have don robert: eamon w knoall love -- watch and appreciate cnbc. governors are taking democratic this week california governor gavin nuw -- newsom announced stroomed measures, one day after president estimating that more than half of the state,mi 25.5 ion people could test positive for the virus. >> a statement as lge as ours, nation-state, is many pampts but at the end of the day, we're one body that. we direct a statewide order for people to stay at home.ro rt: on friday, new york governor andrew quomeo order all employers to keep workers at
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me and band gatherings of any size. >> we reduced it to 50% of the workforce and then t reduced ito 75% of the workforce must stay homend today we're bringing it to 100% of the workforce must stay home. rort:yamiche, when you're at the white house talking to your sourlingses the, what do these governors need in the coming weeks to survive? yamiche: well, the president held this kind of live press nference where he was taking call from the gernors all around the country this week. we talked to a governor fro south carolina, michigan and illinois and governors were saying in call aft call, we need information on a still luss package, we need to know how our hospitals are going to get equipment and we might also need help from the national guard. governors areaying they need actual specific resources. and also governors a saying
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they need guidance from the white house so the white house pu out recommended things they wanted people to do, inclupeding don't do --up go in a g of larger than 10 people but you've seen governors take extra stems, saying we're closing down all ourars and restaurants. as the governor of new york was saying, this is a mandate and we'll lawfully enforce that that's not whathi the house is doing. they're giving guidance but not and i'm toldy some that that's a republican principal. they don't want to be seen as the federal government directing states to do things. robert: eamon, when you're covering companies, what matters in your reporting about how they're helping states trying produce new ventilators and masks? eamon: you are seeing some companies responding to thisth d e are some companies in a weird way benefiting. companies like walmart, ouer hiring workers right now
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because of the enormouslo stical capacity they have and a lot of companies are looking intohis idea of can they starto produce these ventilators wch look like they're going to be in extreme shortage next week. ne of that turns on a dime and the president does have the presidential act and a lot ofs companre looking into it. the problem is that this crisis is goingo happen next week and companies are going to need some timeo ramp all this up. robert: >> should we expect stements to get financial report as part of these ongoing talks at the capitol or should they not expect that? jake: theshouldxpect it at some point. states and municalities are going to get hard. the focus now is filling the gaps at hospitals but in the next couple of months there are
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going to be smany of these spending bills that they're going to have to back fill some of these state, local, and municipal budgets or else they're going to be in big trouble because they're carrying burden. oad of the financi everything from logistical issues to socia svices. they're going to need backup and congress realizes that. an remember, it's an election year and people want to be in e good grailingses of the public during an election year. bert: governor cuomo is giving daily press briefings aually televised nationally. are we seeing new players emerge? not only within the trumpra adminion but in the democratic party? >> absolutely. the cuomo briefings are becoming must-see tv. he doesn't overhype the problem but doesn't undersell it either. i have talked to a lot of people
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in states far from new york city who are watching for that very. reas getting back to the issue that states are going to be facing here is the fact that unemployment benefits go out from the states, out from state pocket ande've seen unemployment claims rise by 1,000% over theast week alone. so we know that that is going to be a big issue for the states and that's one of the things thatre senators wrangling over right now is how do you create a mechanism to get additional money to the states so that they n boost their unemployment benefits and how big should those unemploymen benefits be? robert: is the preside giving e governors leeway to decide how to use the national guard or shelter i o placeers in their state? is he stepping back at times from having sweeping declaratns? yamiche: it seems that way and it seems as though, again, te white ho using this idea that republicans in particular
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believe thatal the fed government shouldn't be telling states what to do. that's what the line is when you ask white house officials about but whenou talk to especially some democratic local governments, they say they want more from the federal government. they say there's a leadership vac kuehl -- vuum around president trump, that he's not telling them the best thing to do, especially when it comes to bars and restaurants. the wte house was late telling people what to do on that. we saw so many cities and states saying don't stand at those bars as we saw in some spring break cities like miami, where.'m fr there were a lot of people on the beaches and crowding and that caused local officials to acts before the white house. these are the where people took for leaders that are compassionate, treak through, that have a message for americans that are so scared and
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unfortunately we've seen president trump stuffable on the idea of being a calmer chith there are times where he has been very serious in his tone, saying is is going to get very, very bad, americans need to be individual lenlt. robert: we must live ithe. thank yo to our guests. jake sherman, yamiche alcindor, nancy cordes and eamon javers. your reporting durg this time is very much appreciated and thanks also to our staff andcr at weta right here, for making this all happen tonight d thank you all for joining us. conversation on the "washington week" extra, when -- whichca yo find on your mobile and our website. for now, stay steady. i'm robert costa. n goht, from washington.
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♪ announcer: corporate fding for "washington week" is provided by -- additional funding is provided by the estate of -- adams and koo and patricia yuen through the yuen foundation, committed to bridging cultural differences in our communities. theti corpo for public broadcasting and by contributions to your p station from viewers like you. thank you. >> you'r watching pbs.
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